- Associated Press - Tuesday, September 21, 2010

TAMPA, FLA. (AP) - A U.S. government informant has testfied that Jamaican reggae star Buju Banton introduced him to a friend who the musician said had contacts to sell kilograms of cocaine.

The four-time Grammy nominee is on trial in Tampa federal court. Authorities say that Banton, whose real name is Mark Myrie, tried to buy cocaine from an undercover officer in Sarasota last year.

Recordings of phone calls and other conversations between Banton and the informant, Alexander Johnson, were played in court Tuesday.

Johnson testified that Banton introduced him to Ian Thomas. Thomas pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine. He faces up to life in prison.

Banton’s attorney says Johnson entrapped his client.

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